Archive for the Email Category

Really? I’ve Won That?

Posted in Email, Internet on February 20, 2012 by penelopegeorge

How many people actually check their spam folder? Experts say to check it often in case anything important got booted into it (and by “experts”, I mean me). Mostly it’s filled with crap few would even open (From: Buy Viagra at bargain prices. And have your p&n!s enlarged while you are at it!)

I love my spam folder. It gives me the best Facebook status updates. The latest one, and possibly the best so far so I don’t know how they will top this, comes from the RIAA, which according to the email stands for Recording Industry Association of America.

Now, after many, many seconds of ace detective work, I was able to ascertain that RIAA is a legitimate organization with a very busy website. Or it is a very careful scam which covered all possibilities and set up its own website with an attention to detail that would make any mother proud. Either scenario might fool the average email reader into believing that they really are in deep trouble for some sort of copyright infringement. All I can say is, thank goodness we have spam filters to protect us gullible internet users.

For all those who have not received this notice, the email goes something like this: Dear *******, hereby we notify you that your IP address has been identified as distributing copyrighted content. Please see the attachment to this message for illicit Internet traffic details.
Failure to respond to this message within 14 days will result in copyright infringement accusation and standard legal procedures.

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
1330 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
tel: 202-775-0101
fax: 202-775-7253

Clue number 1 that this was not as legit as they want me to believe: the email address, which I have cleverly replaced with stars for privacy reasons, was not my email address. I have no idea who owns this email address, and I certainly will not be forwarding them the message. I suspect (s)he received their own copy.

Clue number 2: it was very short on legalese. Any legitimate lawyer-sounding letter would have many more whereas’s and henceforth’s. If a real lawyer was involved the email would be six pages long. And they would not have made formatting errors.

Clue number 3: the attachment was a .zip file. If you don’t know yet what a zip file is you need to be supervised while online.

Clue number 4 was the proverbial lack of a leg to stand on. What, have I “shared” too many silly cat videos on Facebook?

Now, in some computer forums I quickly skimmed, it sounded like otherwise tech-savvy players on this world-wide stage may have opened the darn file, and I have no sympathy for them. But the best was the poster who copied the email, warned us all that the file was full of malware, and then attached the file to his post. Thankfully, the owners of the forum were smarter than he and deleted it.

Some people get very irritated by this junk. Some people consider the world got lucky when it hit their inbox because they will post in various forums the dangers of opening the file. Me, I just find them a source of entertainment.

Case in point; apparently I have outstanding traffic tickets in New York (never been). These might be why the FBI was trying to contact me (because they can’t use the phone book). I suppose it was a letter from FBI lawyers (no doubt located in New York) that was to be delivered by the USPS and FedEx up to ten times a day for a month, which resulted in multiple delivery failure notifications (coincidentally, they all contained zip file attachments). But on a bright note, two random people I’ve never had direct or indirect contact with both sent me $200 Amazon gift cards on the same day, again with file attachments containing retrieval instructions. This is all in addition to the inheritance I’m due from South Africa as soon as I hear back from that sweet old lady’s lawyer.

I figure you have to laugh at the preposterous. It simply serves no other purpose.